Israeli forces kill 2 in West Bank clash, Palestinian stabs bus passenger

Israeli forces raided a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Thursday morning, triggering a shootout in which two Palestinians were killed and 15 injured, the Palestinian health ministry said.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian man stabbed a 28-year-old Israeli on a bus in the West Bank before being killed by a bystander, the Israeli military said. The Magen David Adom emergency service said the stabbing victim was treated and taken to hospital.

Videos posted online showed smoke rising from the center of the Jenin refugee camp as gunfire rang out in the background. Others appeared to show Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen moving through the narrow streets.

peak of violence

The raid came two days after a Palestinian from a village near Jenin shot and killed five people in central Israel, part of a wave of attacks in recent days that have killed 11 in total .

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Sanad Abu Atiyeh, 17, and Yazid al-Saadi, 23, were killed in the refugee camp. He said Nidal Jaafara, 30, was shot and killed near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, apparently referring to the stabbing incident.

The Israeli army said troops came under fire after entering Jenin to arrest suspects. He said one soldier was injured and evacuated to a hospital for treatment.

Jenin refugee camp was the scene of one of the deadliest battles of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising. In April 2002, Israeli forces fought Palestinian militants in the camp for nearly three weeks. Twenty-three Israeli soldiers and at least 52 Palestinians, including civilians, were killed, according to the United Nations.

Palestinian Hadeel Abu Atiyeh, center, cries during the funeral of her brother Sanad Abu Atiyeh, 17, in Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on Thursday. Israeli forces attacked a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day, triggering a firefight in which two Palestinians were killed and 15 injured, the Palestinian health ministry said. (Nasser Nasser/Associated Press)

The Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the occupied West Bank and coordinates security issues with Israel, appears to have had little control over Jenin in recent years. Israeli forces operating in and around the town and the refugee camp often come under fire.

The Islamic Jihad militant group announced a “general mobilization” of its fighters after Thursday’s raid.

In Tuesday’s attack, a 27-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank village of Yabad, near Jenin, methodically shot his victims, killing five people. On Sunday evening, a shootout by two Islamic State sympathizers in the central town of Hadera killed two policemen. Last week, a combined car-ramming and stabbing attack in the southern city of Beersheba – also by an Islamic State-inspired attacker – left four people dead. Both attacks claimed by ISIS were carried out by Arab citizens of Israel.

US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday. Biden expressed his condolences after the recent attacks and said the United States “stands firmly and resolutely with Israel in the face of this terrorist threat and all threats to the State of Israel,” the statement said. White House.

No serious peace talks for over a decade

The recent wave of violence has come at a time when Israel is focused on building alliances with Arab states against Iran. There have been no serious Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for over a decade, and Bennett is opposed to a Palestinian state.

Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leaders have held a flurry of meetings in recent weeks, and Israel has announced a series of goodwill gestures, in an effort to maintain calm ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend. .

They hope to avoid a repeat of last year, when clashes in Jerusalem sparked an 11-day war in Gaza, but recent attacks have raised tensions. After a Security Cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening, Israel nevertheless decided to press ahead with its plans to ease restrictions on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.